Monday, June 13, 2011

Stop Wasting Your Money on Laundry Detergent!

Being a teacher means that I have my summers off. It also means that we have to really pinch our pennies. So I've been cracking down on our spending. One way to really crack REALLY crack to make my own laundry detergent. When I first heard about this, I though, "Meh. It can't be that much different." But oh my gah, it so is.

What you will need:
  • A bar of Fels Naptha soap (found on the laundry aisle and roughly $1.)
  • A box of Borax (also found on the laundry aisle and roughly $3.50.)
  • A box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (Make sure you get Washing soda and not baking soda. Also found on the laundry aisle and roughly $3.)
  • A container of powdered Oxy Clean (This isn't required, but I use it because it makes my whites whiter and helps fight stains. You can get a small container because you will only need 1/4 cup per batch. This is also found on the laundry aisle and is roughly $2.50.)

How to make your detergent:

  1. Grate your bar of Fels Naptha. You can use your cheese grater for this. I use the parmesan side to make the gratings small.
  2. In a bowl, mix your grated soap, 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of Washing Soda, and 1/4 cup of Oxy Clean.
Super simple right? It gets better. You only need 2 tablespoons of this mixture to wash a full load of laundry. 2 TABLESPOONS! I read somewhere that store bought detergent has a ratio of $9/30 loads, but this one has a ratio of $9/300 loads. That is INSANE to me.

I made 2 batches at once and am storing it in a canister. 

Now, if you notice, there is a photo up there that includes a bottle of vinegar. If you add 1/4 cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle, it helps to completely rinse the soap out of your clothes before they go in the dryer. And, don't worry, your clothes won't smell like vinegar. (The vinegar trick isn't just for this detergent. Use it for store bought detergent too.)

Now, go and be clean, cheap, and green!

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